Pastor Steve Williams : Costly Sacrifice that Pays

Say Yes to the Next Generation · 48:06 · Recorded November 23, 2014

Our giving should be modeled after Jesus, who showed us the paradox of how an incredible sacrifice could bring us life. It's in his example that we are challenged, inspired, and emboldened.

Costly Sacrifice that Pays

2 Samuel 24:24 (NIV)   “I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the LORD my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

Ephesians 6:7-8 (NASB)  With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men,  knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord.

What moves us to make sacrifices

1. The radical claim that’s captured us.

Luke 9:23-24; 14:26, 33 (NLT)  Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it…If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison – your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters – yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple…So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.”

Philippians 3:8 (NLT)  “Everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.”

2. New growth opportunities that challenge us.

Matthew 6:32-33 (NCV)  “People who don’t know God keep trying to get these things, and your Father in heaven knows you need them. The thing you should want most is God’s kingdom and doing what God wants. Then all these other things you need will be given to you.”

1 Timothy 6:17-19 (ICB)  Give this command to those who are rich with things of this world. Tell them not to be proud…to hope in God, not their money. Money cannot be trusted, but God takes care of us richly. He gives us everything to enjoy. Tell the rich people to do good and to be rich in doing good deeds…to be happy to give and ready to share. By doing that, they will be saving a treasure for themselves in heaven…they will be able to have the life that is true life.

3. Real models of generosity that inspire us.

Mark 12:41-44 (NIV)  Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything – all she had to live on.”

2 Corinthians 8:1-4, 7-9 (NIV) We want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing…But just as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us – see that you also excel in this grace of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

2 Corinthians 9:10-11 (NIV) Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

4. Solid promises from God that embolden us.

John 12:24-26 (MSG)  “Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal. If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me…The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me.”

  • When did you come to recognize Jesus’ call to you to follow him? What convinced you to respond to his call and give your life to him? What is the most important thing you’ve learned about being committed to him?
  • Read the following scripture passages: 2 Corinthians 8:9; John 6:38; Luke 9:23-24; Galatians 2:20. Now “connect the dots” – what key ideas do you observe in these scriptures? In what practical ways can we live out the truths from these verses, especially Galatians 2:20?
  • What promises of scripture from this message, or from your own study motivate you to excel in the areas of stewarding wealth properly and practicing generosity?
  • How has this congregation-wide “Say Yes!” focus impacted you positively? What has God impressed upon you that your group can pray for you about?

From this week’s Family Devotional Guide: Proverbs 11:24-25 (NLT)  Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. REFLECT: We’ve made our commitment to say “Yes!” to the next generation to help them know Jesus and the plans he has for them. God has blessed us so we can be a blessing to others. DISCUSS: Ask each family member to talk about ways they will sacrifice over the next three years to give back to God for the family’s commitment amount. Think of ways that you can regularly celebrate the privilege it is to be generous for God’s Kingdom. PRAY: As a family, pray together over the commitment your family has made to this faith-giving challenge. Express your gratitude for his providing for you, and express your trust in him that he will continue to bless your obedience and sacrifice.

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